Establishing Aquaculture Opportunity Areas and How to Get Involved
December 7, 2020
3:00 pm EST
Director of NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture
Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOA), which are called for in the May 2020 Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, are defined as geographic areas that have been evaluated for their potential for sustainable commercial aquaculture. Selected areas are expected to support multiple aquaculture farm sites of varying types including finfish, shellfish, seaweed, or some combination of these farm types.
In this presentation, NOAA Fisheries will provide an overview of AOAs and the current request for information that is open until December 22. AFS members and the public are encouraged to provide comments for AOA creation in federal waters off of southern California and the Gulf of Mexico as well as the location of future AOAs. The synthesis of public input and NOAA’s powerful data-driven siting analysis are essential elements to highlight space that is environmentally, socially, and economically appropriate for commercial aquaculture.
Danielle Blacklock oversees the aquaculture component of NOAA’s sustainable seafood portfolio. She leads the office’s work on regulation and policy, science, outreach, and international activities in support of U.S. aquaculture. Most recently, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Aquaculture. Prior to that, she was the Senior Advisor for Operations at Fisheries. She received her Master’s Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science from the University of Maine.